Game Boy Haul (Florida Supercon 2021)

This year, I got to attend Florida Supercon with a Press pass (for the first time). I’ve attended Florida Supercon for the past few years, but this was my first time as part of the press. I was only able to be there on Friday, which is the least busy of the three days. I was planning on sharing some of my experiences as a few posts, starting with this one. On the floor I came across a few booths selling retro games.

My initial plan was to purchase some SNES (Super Nintendo) games for my new Analogue Super NT, but instead I bought some Game Boy games for my Pokémon-themed Game Boy Color. Back in the day, I owned an original big grey Game Boy with a bunch of games. Today, that Game Boy and those games are long gone — all but one game, Tetris.

When I found my Tetris Game Boy cartridge but no Game Boy (back in High School) I ended up “borrowing” a Game Boy Color from my friend’s little brother who had a drawer full of “stolen” or “lost” Game Boys. That was the Pokémon Game Boy Color that I still have today.

I spent many hours playing Tetris on that Pokémon Game Boy Color, and over the years I have continued to search for the rest of my collection. At Supercon I was able to add three new games to my new Game Boy collection — one game which was purchased to return it to my possession.

Let’s go over the three titles I added to my Game Boy library last week:

HOME ALONE

Home Alone: The Game is the one game that was part of my original collection that I had to add back. I remember playing tons of this game, but also never really understanding it. And today, I have no idea where my original cartridge is.

The moment I began playing Home Alone I was instantly taken back to playing in the back of my mom’s Ford Taurus station wagon. The repetitive music instantly brought back so many memories of trying to figure out what I was doing in this game.

In Home Alone you play as Kevin (aka Macaulay Culkin) as you attempt to grab all of the valuables around the house. The Wet Bands (and possibly some of their criminal buddies) are aimlessly walking around the house, trying to catch you but not really doing a great job at it.

I guess the point of collecting valuables is to keep them away from the burglars. The game is a collect-a-thon where you move throughout the house, going from room to room, climbing on beds and furniture and searching for money, watches and of course the most valuable commodity of them all — pizza.

This Home Alone game feels like many classic movie tie-in games where a team of game devs was told, “Kids love this movie now let’s turn it into a game.” And they quickly did so.

KIRBY’S DREAMLAND

I’ve played a few Kirby games on my original NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) and my SNES, even lately on my Nintendo Switch online NES & SNES virtual consoles. Kirby is a huge character in the world of Nintendo and has been for many years.

I still own my Kirby’s Adventure game booklet for the NES, even though the game itself is lost. I really like that Kirby’s Dreamland plays and feels much like those NES Kirby games. It’s always nice when a Game Boy version of a game or franchise isn’t just the crappy version of the original.

While reading Ask Iwata earlier this year I learned a bit about HAL Labs and the history of Kirby games, so I was excited to find a new Kirby game for my collection.

Many Game Boy games don’t really have a way to save progress. As a kid this was just a normal thing, but today we can save our progress in many games at any single moment. Back in the day, I remember leaving my Nintendo systems turned on and my game on pause while I had to leave the house — always hoping that it would still be on and ready to play when I returned.

It’s fun to play this game and see how Kirby games haven’t changed all that much over the years. While they may look a lot better, the mechanics and gameplay have always been pretty much the same — eat stuff and swallow to get their powers.

MS. PAC MAN: SPECIAL COLOR EDITION

I chose to buy Ms. Pac Man: Special Color Edition because I thought this was an important game to own. I don’t have any Pac-Man games, other than Pac-Man 99 on my Nintendo Switch and some other newer, digital versions elsewhere.

Pac-Man is another big game, like Tetris. It’s a game that everyone knows and everyone has played some version of.

Ms. Pac-Man: Special Color Edition is neat because it not only brings the original Pac-Man for Game Boy, but also Super Pac-Man. Although I’m not really a fan of this Super Pac-Man, I’m still happy it’s part of the collection. Super Pac-Man involves weird new abilities, unlocks and level layouts with locked passages. 

I’m already terrible at regular Pac-man whether it’s on console, handheld and even in the arcade. Anytime I collect all of the pallets in the first level and move on that’s a major achievement for me. Even though I suck at Pac-Man it’s still important to have a way (or a few) to play it. Of course, a personal arcade cabinet would be nice.

HONORABLE MENTION

There were also some other games I had in my hands but didn’t end up taking home. For Game Boy I almost picked up Tony Hawks’ Pro Skate 2 but I thought a Tony Hawk game on Game Boy would be totally dumbed down. I also grabbed Mission Impossible, but after thinking about the Nintendo 64 Mission Impossible game I thought this might be a dud. There were also a few Japanese games, but I felt I would be stuck in the menu the whole time. For SNES I almost bought Batman Returns: The Game and Taz-Mania.

I went with Game Boy games because I already have a pretty good collection of SNES games and I only have the one Game Boy game. I do plan to continue searching for more retro games for both Game Boy and the SNES.

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